This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

November 21, 2002

DOE Gauges Interest in Climate Change Technology Initiative

DOE announced on November 21st its intent to launch its own initiative to address climate change, and is seeking ideas and statements of interest from those who may wish to participate. Under the National Climate Change Technology Initiative, DOE is considering funding research that could yield reductions or avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions; greenhouse gas capture and sequestration; capture and conversion of greenhouse gases to some beneficial use; or enhanced monitoring and measurement of greenhouse gas emissions, inventories, and fluxes. For now, DOE is just seeking outlines of ideas, concepts, technologies, or technical approaches that could meet the President's climate change goals, but if the initiative is pursued, it will involve a competitive solicitation involving the award of tens of millions of dollars over multiple years. See the DOE press release.

According to a letter sent in early September to President Bush by Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham and Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans, the high-priority items now being pursued by the initiative include hydrogen-based energy systems, biofuels, low-speed wind turbines, zero energy buildings, carbon sequestration, forest management, and agricultural land management. In a separate effort, the agencies are also aggressively pursing improvements in the Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases program. See the letter on the U.S. Climate Change Science Program Web site.

As explained in that letter, the National Climate Change Technology Initiative is one tine of a three-pronged U.S. strategy to address climate change, the other two tines being the Climate Change Research Initiative and increased international cooperation on climate change and clean energy technologies. One result of that strategy is a new draft strategic plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, which combines the new Climate Change Research Initiative with the ongoing activities of the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Along with continued inquiries into the science of climate change, the program aims to develop decision support tools that include detailed analyses of projected environmental, economic, and energy system outcomes of various scenarios for the future. The program is accepting public comments on the strategic plan until January 13th and is holding a public workshop in Washington, D.C., in early December. See the draft strategic plan.